Dinner so far consists of mocktails, pigs-in-blankets, chocolate brownies, and a few carrot sticks as a nod to health. I might need to add something. It's been one of those days at work and I have more to do. But I'm still smiling, even if at times it verges on a grimace. It's satisfying work in between bouts of frustration.
As ever, please do say if there's anything you're interested in, or anything you'd like encouragement for! Here's how to get started. :-)
I went to the the theatre three times when I was in London. The first play I saw was Much Ado About Nothing, put on by the Royal Shakespeare Company, at Haymarket Theatre. It was a beautiful version of the play directed by Christopher Luscombe, with a wonderful score composed by Nigel Hess. I wasn’t expecting the singing and dancing but it really added to the play and the feeling of joy at the end.
I saw The Bodyguard, with Beverly Knight in the lead role. It was a completely unsubtle spectacle with a minimal plot held together by as many Whitney Houston songs as they could fit in. I did enjoy it, but it’s not something I could watch twice. I loved the lighting. A large part of the show was set in Rachel Maron’s house, and they managed to make it look as if the rooms of the house were being flooded by natural light from large windows.
The final play I saw was The Dresser. The revolving set was stunning. I was so jealous of their ability to create an intimate back stage setting that could turn to become the stage to perform their play within a play. I was conflicted about the acting. Both Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith were excellent but I didn’t feel any emotional connection to the characters. It was a much funnier version of the play, than the one I had been involved with last year, but I felt that the constant use of humour detracted from the emotional content. It was strangely intense watching a play that I knew so well, but I did enjoy it.
the ordenry way of finding ansers is for one funkshon to aks another thus:
FOTHERINGTON-TOMAS: Hello clouds hello sky, hello peason. who is the strongest boy in all st. custards?
PEASON: er, i dunno. molesworth, who is the tuoghest in st. custards?
MOLESWORTH (chest swelling with manly pride): it is i (gramer)
PEASON: it is molesworth. (he burst out laffing)
FOTHERINGTON-TOMAS: Hurrah, i hav my answer. (he skip merily away.)
but a rekursiv funkshon can aks itself for an anser.
FOTHERINGTON-TOMAS: Hello clouds hello sky, hello molesworth. who is the strongest boy in all st. custards?
MOLESWORTH: i shal aks myself. molesworth, who is the tuoghest in st. custards?
(i turn around. i am looking into the eyes of a handsom stranger.
could it be MYSELF?)
MOLESWORTH: dere me, who is the tuoghest in st. custards?
MOLESWORTH-PRIME: it is me.
(but as i turn to tell fotherington-tomas, we hear the footstepps of the glamorus under-matron PRUDENCE ENTWISTLE)
MOLESWORTH-PRIME: wait! i must veriffy the result. prudence, who is the tuoghest in the skool?
PRUDENCE: you, my sweet.
(she kisses him and they depart arm in arm without me chiz chiz chiz)
rekurshon was invented by som monks in hanoi. they had three huge needels and a hundred disks. they spent hundreds of yeres moving them about it was worse than detenshun. they shud hav just spun them around like radio LUXEMBURG hem hem. anyway one day the americans invaded.
tho to be fair it is probbly less rude in vietnamese.
AMERICANS: wot are you doing
BROTHER MOLESWORTH: moving disks around
BROTHER MOLESWORTH: no time to talk, got to move this disk around
AMERICANS: dont drop it on your…
BROTHER MOLESWORTH: oh S— B— D—
ABBOT: report to the scriptorium to have thy mouth woshed out with soap
Maybe I should look into BPAL or some other non-mainstream perfume again.
I decided to start my 2017 with a 5 day intensive training course. I had seen a couple of improvised musicals created on stage in Tokyo by Tokyo Comedy Store, and I was curious about the skills needed to do this. When I saw that Showstoppers, who are an award winning improv group, were teaching these skills in London I was really keen to go and try it.
This was a step-up in complexity compared to the improv classes I normally attend. We did create the plot, characters, dialogues, and scenes in the moment, but we also added song and dance. This course also involved long-form improv, which was new for me, as I have been learning short-form improv.
The goal of the course was to learn how to create a 30 minute musical on stage in front of an audience. Learning how to create improvised songs with choreography involved lots of listening to the pianist and your fellow players. When it works it looks like magic, when it doesn’t it can be very clumsy and awkward. But by the end of the week we had gotten very good at listening to each other and also at being clear in what we planned to do next.
The highlights of the week were creating lovely duets, creating my first improvised solo song, and getting to play Alice in Wonderland in a 30 minute musical.
Since my last general life update, we've gone from being iced in (got about half an inch of ice instead of the forewarned three inches of ice plus snow) all the way back to seventy degree days. Seasons, what are they even.
I played through the first level of the LEGO Ghostbusters 2016 game, which I have been jokingly referring to as LEGO Girlfriend Simulator, and so far it has been as much fun as I hoped. We also had the annual Brickfair in town yesterday, and acquired our usual assortment of minifigs for our collection. I scored a Hoth Leia, and kept an eye out for any Holtzmanns (even though I already own one) but didn't see any, although they did have her three friends. I also failed to find any Rogue One characters, but I guess it was too soon - they'll probably be there next year.
I've been watching the usual amount of January football. Happily, Alabama lost the NCAA championship game to Clemson. Also happily, the Patriots are in the AFC championship game again - looks like they'll be playing Pittsburgh for the title next week.
I rented Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children which was more faithful to the book than I feared, although I never did get on board with the changes they did make. I also finally watched the last two episodes of Stranger Things which means I'm caught up on an episodic show for once in my life. Last night we saw Hidden Figures which was even better than I expected. And on Tuesday my mom is taking me to see Patriots Day so hopefully that's not too hard to watch.
Other miscellaneous things - our green Subaru gave up the ghost after 17 years, so H&P are down to one car again. The external disk I had set up for Time Machine died and I'm having to start new backups for all of my computers. My mom's car got bumped today and although the car seems fine, the collision set off her back pain again. I had planned to make some signs and attend our local women's march next Saturday, but I'm going to be attending a funeral instead. Symphony chorus rehearsals start back tomorrow even though it's MLK Day, because it's less than two weeks until our next concert.
It's a long weekend and it's only two-thirds over, but I suspect I won't add any more activities to the set I've already performed this weekend. I'll probably revisit some of them tomorrow, though! So without further ado... what has Mark been up to this weekend?! I'm sure you have really been wanting to know!
afuna and I took N171MA (my airplane) out to Petaluma for breakfast. We had some nice food and milkshakes at the Two Niner Diner and then ran into a fellow pilot and his wife and spent a while chatting. I really enjoy hanging around airports and talking airplanes and I'm pretty lucky afuna is always game to go.
I've tried a few times to learn to knit but I think it's finally sticking. I finished a washcloth (garter stitch) the other day and I wanted to step up to something similarly simple but a little more involved. A hat seemed to be the order of the day! afuna was so excited to take me to our local yarn store where I picked out this dashing color. My first self-selected yarn purchase. I've started on the process of turning it into a beanie cap based on some design claiming to be a WW2 beanie cap. It's going to be a slow project but I'll get it eventually.
This morning I cooked a Dutch Baby (a type of pancake, loosely). While it isn't precisely what the canonical one looks like, it was still pretty tasty. I believe the recipe was a bit undersized for the pan and therefore it cooked faster/grew up the sides more than a typical one would. Either way it was great and I was happy to have eaten it.
It's okay if you have no idea what those photos are. They're ribs -- airplane ribs, that is. For the past year and a half I've been slowly building an airplane in my garage. I haven't really written much about it anywhere because it's such a niche/slow project, but it's something I've been working on. When it's done it'll look something like this airplane, although the coloring/wheel setup will be different.
Today I was working on ribs #1-4 on the left wing, adding reinforcing material (lengths of so-called standard L-angle). These ribs are the ones closest to the fuselage and are designed to support the weight of the humans that have to climb on the wings to board the aircraft. (It's a small low-wing plane which means you climb aboard by stepping onto the wings.)
And finally, I'm spending my evening working on Dreamwidth. Trying to get the BlobStore system up and running and ready to land so I can push forward to deprecate MogileFS. Simpler systems are more reliable and easier to operate! Yay!
So there you have it. This weekend I've piloted an airplane for breakfast, cooked, knitted, coded, and written software. I'm feeling pretty happy about this, honestly. Most of my weekends involve fewer activities but this one has been a really solid one.
Until next time, loyal readers...
When she got home, she told her mum, "I'm going on holiday to a cave where you can only see shadows on the wall."
Her mum said, "You've been talking to Marn, haven't you?"
I forget that there are people who don’t enjoy reading books. I was given a book recommendation at a course with the comment, “If you only manage to read one book this year, make sure it is this one.” I read 132 books last year. It wasn’t as many as I had hoped to read, so I will try to be more disciplined this year. 30 of those were non-fiction, showing my clear preference for fiction. I’m hoping this year to increase the amount of non-fiction I read, helped by the large stack of non-fiction books I was bought for Christmas.
And when I do make resolutions, they tend to be the same tired things. Read more books. Catch up on my TV shows. Take better care of my body. Finish playing those video games. Declutter the house. Do all the things I never make enough time for.
I think I do best when I free myself to focus deeply on one or two things each day, and assign everything else to a routine that I don't need to spend any executive function on. So if I'm regularly not doing enough of X, X needs to be added to that routine somehow. All that remains is to figure out what I want that to look like.
Similarly, I've not yet gone over to the poi side, but I've at least started playing with it a little bit, and you can tell that I started with hoops because I have yet to convince my body that the thing at the end of my arms is going to be floppy if I suddenly try to reverse direction.
I feel so lost in fandom. i heard about the LJ russian server move.... which makes me really... sad? nostologic? i backed up my posts to dreamwidth... i intend to keep my lj account in case of lj based discussion, or lj being sold again to some non-russian company, but i dont know how mych they will police nonrussian users... slash, especially chan slash will no doubt run afoul of their homophobic laws. :-(
but other than the lj russian server issue... what have i missed out on? who is still followimg my posts (and for snarry or other reasons)? who is still in Snarry. Are the snarry haunts still the same ones as of years ago, or are there new ones i should know about / join? what about meta in general? anyplace besides here (and tumbler, which, just, no) where fandom, especially HP slash is happening?
I've had a note on my calendar for months saying to remember that Saturday, January 7th, is my 15 year LJ anniversary. The timing is ironic, since a couple of weeks ago, LJ moved all their servers to Russia and LJ users concerned about their privacy and/or the future of the site started migrating to Dreamwidth in droves. So maybe this would be a fitting occasion for me to say goodbye to LJ once and for all. Not planning on deleting my permanent account, but I may very well stop crossposting and checking my friends page there.
I was never personally invested in LiveJournal the way I've been with ChaoticMUX or Dreamwidth, but it helped me get through a very difficult time in my life, so I'll always be grateful for that. And of course, Dreamwidth wouldn't exist without LJ. But I've been ready to move on for a while, and now the time seems right.